Senate prez: ‘A mistake was made’ in $1.75 million for drug databaseby Dara Kam | April 28th, 2011
The Florida Senate will vote on its pill mill bill tomorrow and remove the $1.75 million for the state’s drug database Senate President Mike Haridopolos said was mistakenly included in the package.
The chamber spent a lengthy session repeatedly rebuking Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff’s efforts to require law enforcement officials to get search warrants before they can access the database before hurriedly approving an amendment sponsored by Sen. Mike Fasano dealing with “funding for the prescription drug monitoring program.”
Gov. Rick Scott and House Speaker Dean Cannon, who have both reversed their positions on scrapping the prescription drug database, have insisted that no taxpayer funds be used to pay for the program, as current law prohibits.
“First and foremost, I found out after the fact today that that was done. I did not anticipate that. I expect that to be removed tomorrow on third reading,” Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, told reporters later in the day. Haridopolos has been an ardent proponent of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and has even said he believes the state should foot the bill for it.
“There’s been no bigger proponent of making sure we have this legislation done in the right fashion,” Haridopolos said. “I was told after we got off the floor. As soon as I was made aware of it, I let the governor and the Speaker know that that was an area that we were going to make adjustments on. I think a mistake was made today. When you make a mistake, you fix the mistake.”
With or without the money, the House and Senate plans remain far apart as the clock winds down on the legislative session.
The House plan restricts doctors ability to dispense narcotics, creates stricter permitting requirements for pharmacies and limits the amount of doses of highly addictive pain medications pharmacies can dispense. The Senate proposal instead strengthens penalties against pill mills and rogue doctors .
The Senate plans to take up the House’s measure (HB 7095) tomorrow, strip it out, put its bill on it and send it back to the House.